Arts/Culture

The WBFO Arts & Culture News Desk is co-funded by Arts Services Initiative of Western New York and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site.

Cylla von Tiedemann

"Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd / His skin was pale and his eye was odd / He shaved the faces of gentlemen / Who never thereafter were heard of again" sings the chorus at the opening of one of Sondheim's most enduring works. SWEENEY TODD opens tonight at the Kavinoky Theatre. The Stratford Festival continues into late October with Shakespeare, modern classics, and new works, including Ms. Erin Shields' dramatization of PARADISE LOST, with one of the Stratford stars, Lucy Peacock, as "Satan."

Actor Burt Reynolds, who played good ol' boys and rugged action heroes in an acting career that spanned seven decades, has died. Reynolds died Thursday morning at a Florida hospital following a heart attack. He was 82.

ThomasPaquette.com

It's been quite a year for artist Thomas Paquette. Earlier this year, the State Department acquired one of his massive oil paintings and installed it in the new NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. This week, his one-man exhibition begins the second leg of its three-stop tour when "America's River Re-Explored: Paintings of the Mississippi from Source to Gulf" opens at the Watermark Art Center in Minnesota.


Nick Lippa / WBFO

Seeing a loved one battle dementia can be a devastating experience. 92-year old veteran and former musician Richard Blas currently participates in a program called Music and Memory at the GreenFields Continuing Care Community in Buffalo. Listening to some of his musical favorites helps him connect with his family.

As we transition into fall in Western New York, several major films shot here over the summer are wrapping up. The outlook for fall is the subject of today’s Press Pass with WBFO’s Pat Feldballe and Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark.

Arthur Bovino / Instagram

The festival that celebrates Buffalo's culinary claim to fame is underway. With thousands descending on Buffalo for this weekend's 17th annual Buffalo Wing Festival, WBFO News Director Dave Debo caught up with national food and travel writer Arthur Bovino.


David Cooper,Shaw Festival

Much as been written about the passing of Neil Simon who died this week at 91, specializing in "the comedy of urban neurosis." We also note the passing of local UB professor and actor Gerry Finnegan described by students as "the best... the most adorable old man and so funny....great teacher, but absolutely insane."  Four shows open before Curtain Up! (Friday, September 14), all listed below, from Subversive Theatre, American Repertory Theater (note this show's address, 3200 Elmwood) , MusicalFare Theatre, and the Kavinoky Theatre. And, remember that the two great, accessible Canadian repertory companies, the Shaw Festival and the Stratford Festival, will continue well into October.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

"Our Stories, Our Neighborhood" was on the big screen at the restored Varsity Theatre. The documentary is about the history of the Kensington-Bailey community and how it has changed over the years.


@BuffaloBRAUN

Now, through the magic of theater and a new play called ONCE IN MY LIFETIME opening next week at Shea's Smith Theater, Bills fans (isn't that everyone at some point?) can gain redemption.


Francesca Bond/WBFO News

Recording inside Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac’s Franklin Street studio would excite a lot of people, but especially a young child recording music there for the first time.


Joey Giambra

As a ten-year old boy growing up in Buffalo, he made up operas using his action figures. Now a Juilliard School of Music grad, Jay Louis Dref will appear with musician/playwright Joey Giambra and noted Buffalo actors and musicians one night only Saturday August 25 at the Kavinoky Theatre in a performance of  Giambra's BREAD AND ONIONS, a poetic narrative about Sicilian immigrants and their families in the lower West Side of Buffalo.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Roycroft Campus in East Aurora is designated as a National Historic Landmark. It features nine of the  original 14 buildings that began the Arts & Crafts Movement of Elbert Hubbard. WBFO’s senior reporter Eileen Buckley met with the Roycroft’s executive director Curt Maranto, who recently invited local elected leaders to see the campus and learn about restoration at the historic site.


National Public Radio

As fans and admirers recall Aretha Franklin upon her death at the age of 76, the attention is placing the spotlight on her Buffalo connections. She spent part of her youth here as her father served as pastor at Friendship Baptist Church. That period is at the heart of an appreciation penned by Buffalo News Music Critic Jeff Miers, who discussed how the singer possessed the "Buffalo Spell" with Toney Rhoades of Friendship Baptist. The term, Miers says, sums up the commitment and passion that is common throughout Buffalo's music scene.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

It took only minutes Thursday for downtown Buffalo's brand new Market Arcade Cinema to have that eternal sign of a movie theater: the odor and sound of fresh popcorn, as customers arrived for the first day of shows.


Alyn Syms

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Member and composer Alyn Syms is known for playing with Rick James and leading his own group, but for almost a decade he has quietly been performing for patients at Roswell Park. His newest project "Cyrano" is based on the time he's spent playing there. Syms shared some of his experiences at the cancer institute with WBFO's Nick Lippa .


Rochester Institute of Technology

The death of singer Aretha Franklin has touched a lot of people, including a Rochester musician who actually played as backup with her in three concerts in Buffalo and Rochester.

Photography by David Hou

While August is traditionally the month for taking a vacation, that message hasn't gotten to the theaters!

Every summer weekend in Buffalo seems to feature a cultural festival, from Greek to Italian to Lebanese and many more. This year, Jewish culture is being added to that list.


National Public Radio

Condolences and remembrances of Aretha Franklin are coming in from around the world and from her adopted hometown of Buffalo with the news that the Queen of Soul died Thursday morning at the age of 76.

Aretha Franklin, The 'Queen Of Soul,' Dies At 76

Aug 16, 2018
@BuffaloBRAUN

The Buffalo Bills are the only NFL team to have lost  four consecutive Super Bowls (1991 to 1994) and this has long been a source of civic dismay. But, what if they won? What would that feel like?

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Cast members from "Disney's Aladdin" appeared at The Belle Center on Buffalo's West Side Tuesday.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says they held a special health and wellness workshop for city children.


buffalovibe.com

Get on your good foot! The Buffalo Central Terminal is the place to be for The Buffalo Boogie and Dance Party Monday evening.

'Big Shot' heading to Old Fort Niagara

Aug 10, 2018
Old Fort Niagara

The 33rd “Big Shot” community photo project will focus on Old Fort Niagara next month.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Thursday's celebration of 11 years of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples at the Buffalo History Museum was more than a political statement. It was also a celebration of indigenous arts and crafts.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

It’s been a long journey for Pausa Art House co-owner Lazara Martinez who grew up in Cuba before coming to America. Now, her live music venue has become a hot spot for touring musicians. This weekend, Grammy nominated jazz artist Jane Bunnett will be performing with her all-women Cuban group Maqueque.

Deen van Meer / Aladdin North American Tour

Over the weekend the Second Generation Theater (founded by Kristin Bentley, Kelly Copps, and Arin Dandes) put on a retrospective of their past five shows, and gave a hint of their upcoming BIG FISH, at Shea's Smith Theatre, their new "home." Next door, at Shea's , the Disney musical ALADDIN opened, featuring Lissa deGuzman as Princess Jasmine, a role she's looked forward to all her life, as told to WBFO in conversation. And Donna Hoke will indulge a persistent Buffalo dream, to win a Superbowl, in ONCE IN MY LIFETIME, coming to Shea's Smith Theatre later this month.

Julianna Sebastian

The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame announced its class of 2018 at the Buffalo History Museum Wednesday. The 10 inductees are a diverse group of musicians, artists and producers from Western New York.

Deen van Meer / Aladdin North American Tour

There will be plenty of magic on stage at Shea's promises "Princess Jasmine" including on scene where there are 100 costume changes in 60 seconds, and, of course, a flying magic carpet.

Once again this year, the Response Performance Festival will utilize the space at Silo City for a site-specific production. According to Dan Shanahan, Artistic Director at Torn Space Theater, more elements and venues have been added. Some performances will feature a boat ride along the Buffalo River, and Bridgman/Packer Dance will perform inside the bed of a 17-foot box truck at Canalside and at the Adam Mickiewicz Dramatic Circle.


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